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NEC Questions 016

By Mike Holt, based on the 2002 NEC 2 of 2

Q11. I have a wall switch that is no longer needed. I would like to remove the switch, cap the wires, and replace the wall switch plate with a blank plate. Is this okay or must I remove the abandoned wires?

A11. The NEC does not require the removal of abandoned power and lighting conductors, just abandoned low voltage and limited wiring. It would be a good idea to disconnect the unused wires from their source of power, but this is not a Code requirement.

Q12. If a hot tub is located in such a manner that the maintenance disconnect cannot
be located five feet from the equipment, could it be locate within the hot tub assembly behind closed panels?

A12. No, the hot tub maintenance disconnect [680.12], must be located not less than 5 ft horizontally from the inside walls of a outdoor spa and outdoor hot tub, unless separated by a solid fence, wall, or other permanent barrier [680.22(C)]

Note: In other than a "single-family dwelling," a clearly labeled emergency spa or hot tub water recirculation and jet system shutoff must be provided. The emergency shutoff must be readily accessible to the users and located not less than 5 ft away, but adjacent to and within sight of the spa or hot tub.

The purpose of the emergency shutoff is to protect users. Deaths and injuries have occurred in less than 3 ft of water because individuals became stuck to the water intake opening. This requirement applies to spas and hot tubs installed indoors as well as outdoors.

Q13. I have an outdoor spa/hot tub motor that is cord-and-plug connected with a GFCI-protected cord. The attachment plug is rate 15A and it's not of the twist-lock type. Where can I locate the receptacle for the equipment?

A13. Outdoor wiring for outdoor spas must be in accordance with the same requirements as a permanently installed pool [680.42]. Since the receptacle for the spa or hot tub will be of the nontwist-lock type, the receptacle must be located not less than 10 ft from the inside walls of the outdoor spa or hot tub [680.22(A)(1)].

Note: All 15 and 20A, 125V receptacles located within 20 ft of the spa or hot tub must be GFCI protected [680.22(A)(5)] and all 15 and 20A, 125V receptacles outdoors of a dwelling unit must be GFCI protected [210.8(A)(1)].

Q14. Is nonmetallic-sheath cable permitted to be installed in a three-story hotel?

A14. Yes, if the structure is built of Type III, IV or V construction and the cable is concealed within walls, floors, or ceilings that provide a thermal barrier of material with at least a 15-minute finish rating as identified in listings of fire-rated assemblies.

Q15. I have a panel that contains a circuit breaker for air-conditioning equipment. If the circuit breaker in the panel is within sight of the equipment, am I required to install another disconnect near the air-conditioning equipment?

A15. No if you comply with 440.14. This rule states that the disconnecting means for air-conditioning or refrigerating equipment must be located within sight from and readily accessible from the equipment [440.14]. "Within sight" means is visible and not more than 50 ft from each other [Article 100].

Note: The disconnecting means can be on or within the equipment, but it must not be located on panels that are designed to allow access to the equipment. Oh yea, it would also be a good idea not to mount the disconnecting means over machine data tags.

Q16. Is a disconnecting means required to be located within site of a transformer?

A16. No.

Q17. Is there a section in the code restricting the use of extension cords?

A17. No. The NEC is an installation standard, not a product standard. However, the use of listed extension cords should be in accordance with the listed instructions, but this is not a Code requirement. According to, extension cords are not intended to be used as a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure. So basically, an extension cord is only for temporary usage.

Q18. Is there a section in the code restricting the use of power strips?

A18. No. The NEC is an installation standard, not a product standard. The use of listed relocatable power taps (power strips) should be in accordance with the instructions provided with the relocatable power tap. According to, relocatable power taps are:

  • Listed for indoor use
  • Not permitted to be used for series connection (daisy chained) to other relocatable power taps or to extension cords.
  • Not permitted to be permanently secured to building structures, tables, workbenches, or similar structures.
  • Not to be use with medical, dental, or health care facilities equipment.

Q19. I've been looking online, but I cannot seem to find a consistent answer on whether a television antenna placed in the attic needs to be grounded. Does it?

A19. No. Each lead-in conductor from an outdoor antenna must be provided with a listed antenna discharge unit or a ground block if the cable has a shield like coaxial cable [810.20(A)]. Antennas located indoors (like in an attic) are not required to have an antenna discharge unit, therefore they are they required to be grounded.

2002 NEC Practice Questions Book — 2002

Learning to use the NEC is like learning to play the game of chess. To play the game well, you'll need to study the rules, understand the subtle and complicated strategies, and then practice, practice, practice. This workbook contains over 1,600 typical NEC Code practice questions from Articles 90 through Chapter 9.

Product Code: 02PQ
Pages: 124
Price: $40.00 each

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